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Leicester Tigers forward Tom Youngs hails ability of Saracens and England prop Mako Vunipola
12:13pm Tuesday 29th October 2013 in Sport
The rate of Saracens prop Mako Vunipola’s international rise should strike fear into his rivals for both club and country according to England teammate Tom Youngs.
The 22-year-old only made his debut for England during the first of last year’s November Tests against Fiji but hasn’t missed a single international fixture since.
That amounts to 12 matches in total for Vunipola – nine for England and three for the British & Irish Lions in their historic Test series win over Australia Down Under.
Vunipola has played less than three times that number in the Premiership, with Youngs adamant the Saracens prop has barely scratched the surface of what he can achieve.
“Mako is a great lad to be around. He is always happy, smiley and he is an exceptional player on a rugby field,” said Youngs.
“His ball-carrying ability is massive – it’s one of his X factors – and he is incredibly good at it. He is just a great player and getting better and better.
“His set piece is improving every season – every month – and looking at him he just improves and improves.
“He listens, which is a great thing for a coach. If someone listens and reacts to what they’ve been told, it’s just fantastic for everyone involved.”
Vunipola appeared off the bench as the Lions beat Australia in Brisbane and Sydney and started the second Test, which saw the Wallabies triumph 16-15 in Melbourne.
England host Australia at Twickenham in the first of three autumn internationals and fellow Lion Youngs is warning Vunipola what was achieved Down Under now counts for nothing.
“The Lions tour is done. It’s all about England now and we’re in England mode looking forward to the Rugby World Cup, which will soon be here,” added Youngs.
“It’s about setting our stall out and keeping on with the journey. The series has been won, which is fantastic and it was great to be a part of, but it’s now onto the next thing.
“And that is the autumn internationals and I’m really looking forward to being out there with the England shirt on with Mako.”
David Wilson, Mike Brown and Tom Youngs at Hollins Hall, a Marriott Hotel & Country Club. Marriott, official partner of England Rugby, has teamed up with River Cottage to change the face of hotel food by focusing on seasonal, local, organic and sustainable produce.
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